Boston, MA -- Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family reportedly pocketed $100,000 or more in taxpayer-funded welfare benefits up through 2012.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev is the Boston Marathon bombings suspect who died in a shootout with police last Friday after a massive manhunt.
The benefits the family received from the state of Massachusetts apparently ranged from cash and food stamps to Section 8 housing.
State officials from the governor on down were initially reluctant to provide any specifics about the welfare benefits the family received from 2002 to 2012, but information is starting to trickle out. A committee of the state legislature is investigating the Tsarnaev welfare payments, however, and has received some 500 documents, although they have not been made public. "The breadth of the benefits the family was receiving was stunning,' said a person with knowledge of documents handed over to a legislative committee today."
Most of the welfare payments received by the Tsarnaev family, who claimed political refugee status, were provided by the ironically named state Department of Transitional Assistance.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife, and 3-year-old daughter, along with his parents and brother Dzhokhar, all reportedly benefited from public assistance. Tamerlan Tsarnaev apparently had little or no work history.
Beyond the specifics of the Tsarnaev case in in terms of welfare handouts, federal officials reportedly never enforce a key provision of current immigration law that can bar entry into this country for those who are likely to become dependent on government assistance (i.e., becoming a "public charge") rather than are self-supporting. "… In FY 2011, just .068 percent of 10.37 million immigration applicants processed by the State Department were found to be ineligible on the basis of becoming a public charge."
Do you think there would be more broad-based support for comprehensive immigration reform if the US was not a welfare magnet, especially considering the vast number of US citizens who are already on the dole?